USAID’s Days Numbered in Ecuador

Prensa Latina

The Ecuadorian government is considering the implications of finally expelling the US Agency for International Development (USAID), local media confirmed today.

On-line versions of El Telegrafo and El Ciudadano newspapers said that a meeting was held recently between the Foreign Ministry and the Technical Department for International Cooperation (SETECI) to discuss the repercussions of an eventual decision on the matter.

According to the sources, if the idea is realized, President Rafael Correa could make it official this week.

According to reports, of an additional $10.2 million USD sent to this nation by USAID in 2010, only four million are to be allocated to alleged social programs.

El Telegrafo says that the end of USAID interference in Ecuador would mean the end of the Framework Agreement and of the strategy for the country, which has not been renewed so far.

In the past few weeks, El Telegrafo revealed that USAID is funding two projects in Ecuador worth $4.3 million USD, allegedly to “strengthen democracy.”

With these resources, it warns, they seek to lead a joint campaign using the country´s Civil Society Organizations (OSC) during this electoral year, against Decree 982, which regulates the activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

This intention would be realized through the agreement “Strengthening Civil Society in Ecuador” or “Active Citizenship,” implemented by the Faro and Fundamedios Group, NGOs opposed to the government, along with other similar bodies, said the daily.

Since May, 2010, President Rafael Correa has been revealing the existence of a considerable number of NGOs in the country, mainly uncontrolled and failing to pay taxes, which are funded for illegal political activities, even for allegedly training leaders.

USAID reaffirmed recently its readiness to fund subversive groups that seek to destabilize the countries within the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), a pro-integration mechanism created in 2004.

Deputy Chief of USAID for Latin America and the Caribbean, Mark Feierstein, confirmed that Washington is prioritizing support for opposition forces “fighting for human rights and democracy” in those nations.


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